Overview and Breakdown of the UAD Studer A800 Tape Plugin
I thought we’d take a look at the Studer tape plug here from Universal Audio. This is the Studer A800. One of my favorite tape machine plug-ins, tape emulation plug-ins. I typically like to use this more as an EQ — I mean, obviously, you want the tape saturation, but you can really use it to EQ things, and I’ll show you a little bit of that in a minute here, but first I thought we’d break down some controls.
So you’ve got these four buttons down here in the bottom left. When thru is selected, you’ve bypassed the plug-in. You’re not getting any emulation or tape saturation or anything, really.
Input is going to be the sound of audio being run through the machine without the tape saturation. So you’re just getting the sound of the electronics of the tape machine.
Sync is going to be the sound of record and playback through the sync/record head, and as well as if you have this across multiple tracks, you’re going to get the emulation of that through all of your tracks too.
Repro is going to be emulation of recording playback through the record head. Solely. As well as any other instances of this you have going, because you can group this stuff.
Then we have some knobs over here. GPS, 900, 456, 250, these are all different tape types that all have their own various flavors. Input is obviously how much drive, and then you can counter that with the output.
IPS is going to be like your tape speed. So you’ve got off, 7.5, 15, and 30. Pretty standard. Then you have your calibration. +9, +7.5, +6, and +3. Calibration sort of links up with tape type as well. GPS typically +9, 900, 7.5, and these aren’t rules at all, you can definitely switch it up and this is a great plug-in to experiment with. Just a small bit of info on that.
Then you can hit this open button and you get to a lot of really cool tweaking in here. It’s got auto calibration, which you can turn off. You’ve got your gain controls, so if you’re grouping these machines, you can turn that off and on. Noise kills the hum and machine electronics sound, and then your equalizer.
These are basically different EQ curves. I typically just leave this on nab, but again, you can tweak stuff.
Then in here, depending on sync or repro mode, you’ve got sync EQ, repro EQ, obviously with noise, you can adjust how much hum and hiss you want in your sound, and then you’ve got a sort of high filter driver here. Just going to adjust biasing and sort of top end stuff.
This is where you can really kind of tweak things with the top end and EQing stuff, which I’ll show you.
So I’m going to put this just on a drum buss here, go to some factory defaults. Right now, it’s thru, so it’s bypassed, and I’ll kick it on.
So just doing that it really makes the whole drum set a little more dense and kind of puts a little bit of that tape sheen on top.
So now let’s have some fun here. I’m going to go GPS.
I’m going to drive my input a little bit.
Balance out the output.
7.5 kind of darkens it.
Here it is through the sync head.
See, I like that.
Just makes stuff sound so good. Really musical sounding tape machine. If you open this up, I’ll kind of show you some of the high filter stuff we have going on.
Again, so say it makes it too dark, you can grab this high filter knob here.
And you start using this thing as an EQ a little bit.
Or if you just want it really dark…
Here it is on a chorus.
It does a great job of just rounding out those cymbals. That ride cymbal, the overheads.
Anyways, you can play with this thing for hours. This is one of my favorite tape plug-ins. It holds up really, really well. It feels like tape. The machine sort of reacts how I expect a tape machine to react. Definitely check it out, definitely demo it if you’ve got a UAD card. Totally worth the money here.
Again, this is just my five minutes with it. If you haven’t already, you still have time to get in the mix contest. You can win yourself a Softube TSAR plug-in. Go check that out at the website, I’ll put a link below. Subscribe if you haven’t subscribed already, thanks to all the new subscribers, like us on Facebook, follow me on Twitter, and hit me up with any questions or ideas for new videos.
I’ve got some fun stuff on the way, I’m about to move into a new studio, so I’ll probably do some recording stuff once I get setup, and you guys have a good week and I’ll see you next time. Later.